African Union to Deploy Election Observers to Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union Commission (AUC) announced that it has approved the government of Ethiopia’s invitation to deploy election observers for the general elections in the country.

AUC Chairperson Moussa F. Mahamat approved the deployment of both long- and short-term African Union observers to the general elections in Ethiopia scheduled for 21 June 2021.

The eight (8) members of the long-term observation (LTO) mission, drawn from various member states of the African Union, arrived in Addis Ababa on 2nd and 3rd June 202.

The mission is in Ethiopia to undertake observation and analysis of key aspects of the electoral process, particularly the political environment, electoral legal framework, the effectiveness and transparency of electoral preparation and administration, according to a statement from the AU.

The mission will also conduct observations on the election campaign environment, including freedom of the media and respect for core participatory rights throughout the process, it added.

This analysis will form a key part of the AU’s overall assessment of the conduct of the 21 June 2021 elections in Ethiopia, AU said.

According to AU’s statement, the long-term observation mission will be deployed in teams to cover different locations in the country.

They will be joined, at a later stage, by a number of Short-Term Observers (STOs), who will arrive in Addis Ababa approximately a week before Election Day.

The AU Election Observation Mission to Ethiopia has the mandate to observe, collect and analyze information concerning the election process and will operate in accordance with relevant AU instruments.

The AU instruments include the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the 2002 AU/OAU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, 2002 the AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions, and other regional and international instruments for democratic elections.

The Mission will present its findings at a press conference in Addis Ababa shortly after the conclusion of the elections, where a Preliminary Statement will be released.

This will be followed by a more detailed Final Report that will include recommendations for improvement of future elections in Ethiopia, it added.